Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do not pull out your childs test waiver. Please tell everyone to opt their kids out of the testing! Yes it's that important!!!!!!

Everyone should be aware that the issue of the high school name change is on the CJUSD board meeting agenda as a discussion item. There will not be a vote. The board members will have an open discussion amongst themselves. At that point a member may (we believe will) move to have it put on the agenda as an action item for the next board meeting, then a vote will take place.
Having the name of high school on the agenda is a very good sign. We would prefer a vote now, but the rules for public meetings don’t allow it.
Thanks to the efforts of many, the school board members have heard us. An informal meeting was held with three board members and four community members working together for the best solution. This meeting was very positive and turned out very much in our favor.
Pay close attention to the discussion of this issue and you will get a feel for how each member stands. Let’s remain positive and mature in our actions in order to keep the momentum on our side.
And be ready to pull your child’s test waiver on Friday, it’s that good!


Anonymous said...

While I think the proposed name is silly, doesn't anyone feel like people here are being a bit inflexible? While Ray Abril clearly wasn't a popular choice, Grand Terrace didn't win anywhere close to a majority.

We have no way of knowing what would win in a runoff vote. Any of the top three proposals (Grand Terrace, Bob Degroff, or Blue Mountain) could win and none would be terribly controversial because the only person on that list is well respected and furthermore dead. Instead of dictating what the name ought to be why not take a more diplomatic approach and say that the board should pick one of the top three? I don't see how any of the top 3 picks would have been objectionable.

Nick Betten said...

The Board has sole control over naming the schools in the district. It's written into their policy and has been a long standing one. We have a majority on our side to get this through. As odd/different as the compromised name may seem, it's something we can live with. "Grand Terrace High School" will be at the forefront of the title and will remain the identity of the school, all the while honoring Ray Abril.

Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

I have a question...

Let's just pretend...that in the future, Grand Terrace decides down the line to form our own school district...if Abril sticks after all of this, would we be able to CHANGE the name of the school?

And Anonymous... your sunny personality is evident in your writing... you just stay the way you are... positive to the core!
You rock!

Anonymous said...

A bit of skepticism here...

Are they trying to let our kids test...and then say the name remains the same?...just so we can pull our waivers?

Anonymous said...

A little pessimism here...

Are they just sounding "positive" because they want us to pull our waivers and increase their school scores?

We'd sure be more comfortable with a vote Thursday night.


llw said...

I'd be pretty wary about accepting any Board members' verbal commitment to any name change unless I had it IN WRITING, SIGNED, & NOTARIZED. District residents - board members are POLITICIANS who will say and do anything to gain and retain power. Their public voting record is the only legitimate record of their values and commitments.

If we are not willing to exercise our rights (i.e. opt of of testing), without regard to empty promises (not in writing), then GT doesn't deserve to have the name they say they desire. If this is a game of chicken you have to be prepared to follow through.

I heard today from a parent that they didn't want their child's work all year to be dismissed because of not taking the CST. I laughed at the suggestion that the 180 days a child spends in school can be boiled down to a one day test and a single number score. What message does this send our children?

Our kids are MORE than a number, they are individuals with passions, desires, talents, and gifts - none of which are nurtured by or manifested in a CST score. This is the ultimate propaganda public education has played upon the the citizens - and if you succumb to a promise made by a politician, whatever fate follows is a fate well deserved.

I'm with the people here, but you have to be with yourselves and willing to make the hard choices while demanding nothing less than integrity from your elected officials. They serve you, serve us, serve our kids and their future. Stand your ground. Demand and be counted.

Amanda Betten said...

Wow to the above comments! You are right! The state wouldn't have made the law of waiving your child from the STAR Test if were going to harm your child.

Stick up for what you believe in. Make your elected officals listen to you, by showing up in numbers Thursday nite!


Amanda Betten

Anonymous said...

They can vote on this item. The purpose of the Brown Act is to make sure that decisions are made in open meetings and not secretly. This item was agendized so that people knew it would be talked about. All those who are attending are going to talk about this issue- How much more open could it be?

The technicality of it not being listed as an action item is just semantics. They can vote to express their preference. If it is technically illegal then the only remedy under the law would be to re-vote at the next meeting. So why not vote now to show their public support?

Demand a vote before you rescind your waiver from STAR testing.

Tobin Brinker

Anonymous said...

I will not withdraw my child's waiver until they change the name!

Anonymous said...

They didn't listen to us at the 1st meeting when they named the high school, they didnt' listen to us at the 2nd board meeting, guess what Colton School Board, if you don't listen to us on the 3rd time, 3 strikes your out! The state comes in and tells you guys what to do!

Anonymous said...

we could still not have our kids go to school on the day of testing, then the scores wouldn't count either.

Anonymous said...

Tobin is correct. I personally have seen the board take action in board meetings against parliamentary procedure. If they want the name, they will do everything they can right now to vote it in. They can take a consensus vote right on the spot and get their views recorded. That is what they did the first time with the the school's current name.
Testing neither hurts nor helps a child's academic career. Testing is a measurement only of the school, and a faulty one at that. Testing has become the measuring stick by which parents compare their children within families and within neighborhoods. Wonderful API scores only serve as selling points for real estate agents and fodder for newspaper articles. What did we use ten years ago before testing? The same thing used now: teacher opinion.
In this situation, trust is a thing painful to lose and hard to earn, on both sides.

Anonymous said...

In response to the person who said to not send their child to school on testing day is unrealistic. Altough schools have "testing days," there is a 2-3 week time period for them to complete the tests. The last week is often when students make up the test.

Test scores are informative to schools and fairly consistent with a child's overall academic progress. The scores are often used to the students' benefit by differentiating their instruction. HOWEVER, it will not harm a students' grades or placement this year if you "waive the test" in protest.

Good luck and keep fighting! The idea to "waive the test" for the purpose of protesting is excellent!

CJUSD Teacher

Anonymous said...

llw said: "I heard today from a parent that they didn't want their child's work all year to be dismissed because of not taking the CST. I laughed at the suggestion that the 180 days a child spends in school can be boiled down to a one day test and a single number score. What message does this send our children? "
Guess what, it does. The good thing about this is that parents are finally coming to terms with how absurd all of this testing is! These scores WILL BE used to place your child next year. Do not drop the ball, when they try to put your child in remedial classes because of one test. THMS tried to do it twice to both my children . . . I had to ask the counselor and principal twice to have them placed in classes I felt were more conducive to their learning. All because of one test. In the first instance, my daughter was placed in remedial English, she is a "bad" tester. That year, her counselor agreed that she was misplaced and she went on to become a member of ASB and honor student. This year, my son was not placed in Algebra as a 7th grader, because of his "test" performance in the 6th grade (he was three points below the suggested score for Algebra placement). I asked that he be given a chance at Algebra anyway. The principal said, "no, but our teachers are really keeping an eye out for the ones who should move up." He skated through, and was never moved up. Which means he is already one year behind of his real mathematics potential. He wants to be a doctor, and now he will not even make the highest level math class as a Senior. Yes, because of a test! Parents, please learn from this, and do not drop the ball! (cannot sign my name because I am a teacher.) Please, parents, talk to your childs' teachers . . . it's the only way you really know what is going on in the classroom! CJUSD uses webgrader, an excellent way to stay informed about your child's REAL academic progress. :)
(sorry this post is so lengthy!)

Anonymous said...

The above post was my way of informing parents to learn from my mistakes!! My son loved the idea of not being challenged in his math class, and yes, I gave in and allowed him to get off easy. We choose our battles, and for his sake, I hope I've made the right choice. My point is, learn the process, for your own children, and others. Let's share our knowledge and experiences so that others will not make the same mistakes we have. (okay, now I'm done!)

Anonymous said...

I am sad to say that I agree with those who want more than a verbal agreement from CJUSD. At the risk of re-visiting history--we were asked to trust that funds from the first bond would go toward building the new high school in GT. After the election and over time, the agreement became vague and certain board members began more careful phrasing--adding disclaimers bit by bit. They can reconstruct history with the best of them. There was wiggle room in there and by golly they took it. That was a defining event for me---and to be asked to trust again--might be just a little too much to ask at this time.
Ask for a direct, specific answer or it could be the same--once the bond is passed, once the waivers are pulled, once you've lost whatever leverage you may have--how will you hold CJUSD to their word? Make it simple. Make it honest.

Anonymous said...

This school board is going to do what they want to do. I will never forget the smug replies when we said to the right thing. It is like they want to stir up problems beween hispanic students and others. Yes to GTHS and no to re-election of the board members who vote against it.

Anonymous said...

Never, I mean NEVER, accept a "verbal" ageement!!!


On another note, I completely agree with the quote that "trust is painful to lose and hard to earn" true. CJUSD will have to wait a long time to earn back the trust they lost. It would be foolish to accept any verbal agreements at this point. This is hardball! Sign on the dotted line.

Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

Parents... the ones afraid that not testing will hinder their children...

BE YOUR CHILD's ADVOCATE!!! A TEST is not your child! This whole "teach to test" mentality is absurd and the main reason I chose to go private... but parents... PLEASE...

Your children are soooo much more than a stupid test! YOU HAVE ALL THE CONTROL IN YOUR CHILDS EDUCATION AND CJUSD DOESN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT! CJUST ISN'T GOING TO PAY FOR YOUR CHILDS COLLEGE TUITION... Don't give them all the control over your child's public school education!

Scare tactics are for people who are afraid themselves!


I know people who opted out every single year their children were in school, and their children have wonderful college degrees and haven't been hindered at all... and they were in Colton school district!